So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will win a hundred times in a hundred battles--The Art of War by Sun Tzu as read by Joe Mantegna (yes, that Joe Mantegna, seriously)
(sorry folks, no fun pictures today--working from my Dad's NAPA store and he refuses to give me authorization to save pictures...actually, he doesn't know how to give authorization, but either way...)
So while the lot of you were busy choking down gallons of cranberry and pounds of flightless bird, I was laboring in the stacks of my local library in an effort to investigate this week’s opponent as thoroughly as possible. And before you can bring up the fact that KYE is appearing on Friday instead of Thursday, let me at least argue that eschewing my familial and gastrointestinal responsibilities should merit a free pass from the readership. All was not a loss for my stomach, however, as I did enjoy a meal of Rice Krispy Squares and Capri Sun; the very same thing the noble Native Americans shared with the Pilgrims all those years ago (1940’s).
This painstaking research has yielded the knowledge that this game has had its innards removed and replaced with all sorts of ramifications stuffed up in there. Not only is bowl placement on the line for both teams, but also Tennessee’s spot in the SEC Championship Game, the “Streak”, and perhaps even
Roger Ebert’s Phil Fulmer’s job. Additionally, the Cats hope to avoid a postseason match-up against Clemson in any form and secure 8 wins in a season for the first time since 1653. Further complicating matters is the fact that two of my good friends are UT fans: macon_volfan and payne. Both hail from around Knoxville and I have been debating about how sensitive I will be to this fact in this preview. The answer is that I will effort to be every bit as sensitive as Ricky Sam Brooks allows his ferocious Wildcats to be. Now on to the show…
Knoxville is the third largest city in the state of Tennessee (presumably behind Halls and Franklin) and takes its name from Revolutionary War hero and first Secretary of War, Henry Knox. In fact, Knox is so revered by the Vol faithful that Fulmer chose to sculpt his body much in the same way as Hank Knox. Knoxville was also once known as the Underwear Capital of the World thanks to its numerous clothing factories that operated during the thirties. Here's hoping that the Cats can deposit another skid mark on the city with a devestating victory this Saturday.
While there are some pleasant surprises (Kurt Vonnegut, Alex Haley, and Dixie Carter), the awful far outweighs the good as evidenced by 60 year old ADHD victim Woody Paige, banned sprinter Justin Gatlin, former running (sniff) back (sniff) and convicted felon Jamal Lewis, and Desperate Housewives middle-aged heartthrob James Denton. Another surprise is the very few number of country music singers listed. The only one I can find is Deana Carter and her biggest hit was "Did I Shave My Legs for This". Wow.
Cheerleader Scouting Report
Well, they pass the "30 yards away" test otherwise known as "collective hotness" or "distance attractiveness". Unfortunately, I am having difficulty saving images to the computer I'm on right now (stupid Department of Defense--social security numbers aren't as important as cheerleader pictures!) so, I will endeavor to update this with a pic later on. You'll have to trust me in the meantime and I assure you that the She-Vols do just fine.
We spoke last week about how Georgia and Tennessee were locked in a duel as to who would play Oates to Alabama's Hall in terms of football pedigree in the SEC. However, it looks like Tennessee Aaron Burr's Georgia with its six National Championships compared to UGA's two. UT football began in 1890 with a winless season (0-1) with a defeat to powerhouse Sewanee in the team's first official game. In 1893, UT took on Kentucky A&M and was humiliated to the tune of a 56-0 score. That same Kentucky A&M would go on to become the current University of Kentucky and, to my knowledge, that game was the first of many humiliating losses the Vols would have at the hands of the Cats.
They really have a kid named "Arian"? Apparently, his parents were members of the Schultzstaffel and huge supporters of the Third Reich in late 1930's Germany. More ironic is that Arian is neither blonde-haired nor blue-eyed. Other fun names include Lennon Greer (his parents were obviously hippies), Nevin R. McKenzie (Fulmer has yet to show him his "special purpose"), and Cody Pope from Cathedral High School in Julian, CA (turns out the Pope is Catholic) But, of course, the most recognizable name you will see is Captain Underwhelming himself, Erik Ainge. Ainge first enrolled at UT as a true freshman back up to Heath Shuler and has somehow managed to maintain eligibility over the better part of two decades. Early on, he split time with Ole Miss Rebel Brent Shaeffer in a battle to see who wanted the UT quarterback job the least. He has since presided over a disappointing time is UT history and his performance in Saturday's game could very well determine his coach's future.
DLJ has not been getting the ball a satisfactory amount as of late and he has been in Woodson's ear about the matter and has lodged a formal complaint (written in purple crayon on white construction paper) to the coaching staff. Expect for him to end the year on a high note with 6 rushing touchdowns (all on double reverses) and 7 receiving touchdowns. Woodson breaks out of his funk and decides to prove that any quarterback can do the easy thing and run by rushing for 235 yards and then proceeding to blow kisses into the camera aimed at Tim Tebow's girlfriend and mom (not the same person...or are they?...). Cats break the Streak in royal fashion by upending the Vols by over 100 points, 105-6. The six is the result of a "pin the tail on the donkey"-like game where Rafael Little mistakenly rushes for a touchdown into UT's end zone. The refs feel bad for the Vols and award them a touchdown as opposed to the customary safety. The PAT by one of the Osmonds Colquitts fails.
Prepare to celebrate in a grand way, Cat fans, as this is the year that the streak finally, mercifully ends. Better yet, it will cost UT a chance at the SEC Championship and will lead to much strife in the land of orange. I probably will not make it to the game on Saturday due to a prior engagement (Muscle Car show where I'm entering myself as a contestant), but rest assured, I will be with you all in spirit and via the vacuum tubes in my TV box beginning at 1:30 on the morrow. Get your party hats out of storage and prepare for the fallout of an 8 win season in the land of the Bluegrass. Go Cats.